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Door security for homeowners - FAQs


What are the most secure types of locks I should fit to my front door, back door and French window-type patio doors?

If you have a timber front or back door, look for the Kitemark on your lock and ensure it is rated to BS 3621 (or its 8621 or 10621 variants that offer different locking combinations). If you have a PVCu patio door (or indeed a PVCu front and back door) it may have a multi-point locking system. This is where steel bolts are thrown between the door and frame at various points along the edge of the door. In this case look for the PAS 3621 (8621 or 10621) rating. If you have a key-free lock - perhaps one operated by a remote key fob or combination keypad - look for a lock rated to TS 621. If you have a PVCu or composite front or back door where you want the ultimate in lock security, then look for the TS 007 rating for your door. This helps prevent against lock snapping, bumping, and other forms of lock attack. Look for the Kitemark and three stars. Protection is provided by a lock cylinder sporting three stars, or a lock cylinder with one star combined with a security door handle sporting two stars. The Kitemark and stars will be imprinted on the lock cylinder and on the door handle, and on the product packaging.

I am reasonably competent at DIY, are these uprated lock cylinders and handles simple to fit myself?

Replacement lock cylinders and stronger door handles are available to purchase and can be fitted to the door by anyone with reasonable DIY skills. The installation of multi-point locks is more complex and installation by a specialist would be preferable. Many householders may be more comfortable if a specialist advises on retrofit door security measures and installs them for you, in which case we recommend you approach a member company of the Master Locksmiths Association. Find your nearest MLA company here.

If I want to fit new locks myself, where is the best place I can buy them from and do they come with installation instructions?

Look online for your local locksmith, or visit your local hardware store or multiple DIY retailer who all sell locks and associated hardware. All locks come with installation instructions.

The lock on my front door has a Kitemark printed on it, does that mean I have the latest secure lock fitted or should I still get a locksmith to check it out?

It depends on the age of the lock. Locks are continually improving and becoming more secure, and the Kitemark reflects the level of lock security when it was first awarded. If your lock has been in place for many years, we recommend you call in a locksmith or security installer to see whether your lock needs to be updated to reflect current security standards.

I have seen on the internet that someone wanting to break into my house may easily be able snap the locks on my door, or drill through them, or “bump” them, what type of lock prevents this happening?

If the lock on your door has been in place for many years, we recommend you call in a locksmith or security installer to see whether your lock needs to be updated to reflect current security standards. The degree of security of locks continues to improve in line with the increasing ability of burglars to break locks: you need to ensure your locks provide the greatest available level of security. Call in a qualified locksmith or security installer to check your locks.

Does my home insurance company require me to fit certain types of approved locks?

Most insurers insist your door locks meet minimum standards of security. If you follow the guidelines of dhf and the Master Locksmiths Association this will normally ensure the integrity of your home insurance cover. dhf advises you to check with your insurance provider.

There is a bewildering choice of security ratings for locks - BSI, Sold Secure, Insurance Approved, Kitemark, Diamond Approved, Secured by Design - which gives me the best guarantee of security?

All of these security ratings are recommended for locks. If you are in any doubt about the security offered by a lock you should first look for the BSI Kitemark which provides high level of security.

Are there any other measures I should consider when looking at door security?

Yes, consider a door viewer, security door restrictor, letter plate and letter box for your external door. Look for standards DHF TS 002, DHF TS 003, DHF TS 008, DHF TS 009 respectively. These can be found in the publications section of this site.

Is there a front door or back door which comes with the latest security devices built in, or do I need to get a door fitted then have the latest type of security locks and devices fitted?

A complete door assembly (door, door frame and all door hardware such as hinges, handles and locks) that is rated to the standard PAS 24 offers complete security. If you intend to replace your front or back door with a brand-new door then this is the recommended option. 

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Door & Hardware Federation, The Barn, Shuttington Fields Farm, Main Road, Shuttington, Tamworth, B79 0HA
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